HOW UBER CONQUERS A CITY IN SEVEN STEPS

Uber … not a fan 🙁
Ralph

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2.Recruit drivers aggressively
There’s no Uber without a critical mass of drivers, so the company offers $1,000 sign-up and referral bonuses to lure them away from legacy taxi firms. For those who don’t have their own car, Uber’s Xchange leasing program allows even those with low credit scores to get deals on vehicles. However, drivers who opt for these financing deals can end up paying high prices. “The lease terms are awful – you could buy the car for what they are being leased for, or maybe even less,” said Greg McBride, a financial analyst who looked at the figures for the Associated Press. In response, Uber said the program offered weekly rentals, flexible leases, traditional leases and purchase discounts through some carmakers.

According to Uber’s arch-rival, Lyft, one of Uber’s more grubby tactics includes allegedly ordering and cancelling more than 5,000 rides from Lyft in order to make drivers think the service was less reliable and to drive passengers looking for available cars to Uber. Uber denied the allegations.

[By Olivia Solon; more at The Guardian, 12th April 2017]

EVERY TIME WE TAKE A UBER WE’RE SPREADING ITS SOCIAL POISON

There are very few things that $5bn can’t buy, but one of them is manners. This week video emerged of Travis Kalanick, the CEO and founder of ride-share app Uber, patronising and swearing at one of his own drivers, who complained that harsh company policies had forced him into bankruptcy. “Some people don’t like to take responsibility for their own shit,” sneered Kalanick. Truer words were never spoken by a tycoon: for Uber, along with many other aggressive corporations, not taking responsibility for your own shit isn’t just a philosophy, it’s a business model.

Uber has barely been out of the news this year, with a succession of scandals cementing the company’s reputation as a byword for cod-libertarian douchebaggery. Accusations of strike-breaking during protests against Donald Trump’s “Muslim ban” sparked a viral campaign to get customers to delete the app. A week later, a former employee went public with accusations of sexual harassment and institutional misogyny. Kalanick, who was pressured to withdraw from a position as a business adviser to Trump, is now facing legal suits across the world from drivers who insist that they would be better able to “take responsibility” for their lives if they could earn a living wage.

[By Laurie Penny; more at The Guardian, 3rd March, 2017]